I first heard Grant Oliphant admonish foundations for not being willing to talk openly — and routinely — about failure (and without shame or embarrassment) at a Communications Network conference in Miami in 2007. Back then, he laid out a 10-point prescription for overcoming reluctance, or plain unwillingness, of foundations to admit that not everything works as they planned.
Guest Post: Minna Jung, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and Vice Chair, Communications Network
Over the past decade and a half, I’ve worked at three foundations: the first, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, had a communications team of three people (and I was very fortunate to work for the amazing Joanne Edgar there, one of the founders of this Network). The second, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has a communications department that averaged about 40 people during my time there, and is well-known in the philanthropic sector because of how Frank Karel, the former vice president of communications at RWJF, built a communications department which was fully integrated with program and evaluation and other organizational functions. The third, my current job, is at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, where I work on a team of four people. Including me.